My 6 year old is the most sweet natured boy you will ever meet. He is eager to please and always tries to do the right thing. We are moving, not far away but have a choice of keeping him in the school he is in (which is a good school with 120 pupils) or transferring him to the school on the doorstep of new house ( which is a good school also with 70 pupils and as a result less facilities). He has been on the SEN register since starting school and was assessed at the time to have the speech capacity of a three year old. He has worked really hard and now is at the point where we will be looking to come off SEN at Christmas. We had resolved not to move him, as 1) we found a lot of kids from our new village do not go to the local school 2) I have a 4 year old starting school next year to consider 3) Didn't want to upset the applecart. Upon telling my son, he burst into tears and told us he has no friends at school, is lonely and was looking forward to moving. I know he's not the most popular in school and it is very cliche, but didn't realise it was this bad. Advice please!
I would definitely move him to new school, your poor ds.
At new school he may find like minded children, and easier to find friends to play with after school at park etc.
Your poor DS - and you - that must have been heartbreaking to hear him say.
However, I think you need to separate these issues.
1) The "no friends" issue. Speak to his teacher and the SENCo. They may have a different take on it. Or maybe able to shed some light on it. He may just have been having a bad day when everyone was playing superheroes and he didn't want to. Speak to the SENCo as it may be his speech issues have impacted on how he interacts in the playground (is he quiet - or slip into old speech patterns when playing? - not an expert by any stretch here - but the SENCo may have some ideas). If you speak to the school they will be able to put somethings in place to help him up. Keeping an eye on him, buddying him up, teacher selecting work-groups/pairs rather than letting the class do it, moving places around in the classroom. He has more children to be friends with at a bigger school. See if you can fix it here - also look into it now - where he has been for a few years - otherwise the same issue may occur if you move. Also could he join Beavers or something to start establishing friendships outside of school?
2) The "new" school
Have you visited the new school? What did you think of it? 70 pupils sounds very small - is it a primary (YR - Y6) or a lower school (YR- Y4). If it is a primary then that is 10 pupil per school year. That can be even more clique-y -especially if you are new.
Do you know why local people are not using the school?
Is there a new head - who has changed the school since the last Ofsted - meaning the new school isn't actually the same as the report (This happened to my DCs school. Got an Outstanding. Head moved on. New Head an utter disaster - parents moved their children in droves - but Ofsted report still stands as it being an Outstanding School).
Or is there no before/after school provision - which is why some parents cannot use it?
Try and find out why. Visit the new school (without your DS). Weigh up the pros and cons. For both your children. Separate the friendship issue (as much as you can).
BTW my son sounds similar - he had a few difficulties in the early years. He struggled to fit in with the real "alpha" boys, he didn't like football, he was always the one left with no-one to sit next to on the coach on class trips. Everyone kind of ignored him. Not in a nasty way - just he wasn't quite the same. He is now Yr4 and a couple of friendships have really strengthened. He has found some soul-mates friends wise. I have to remind him of some things ("There is a school trip today - don't forget to ask John to sit together.") A few playdates. etc.
A big unMNetty hug for you both.
Oh and if you decide the new school is not right for him (or your other DC) a few white lies/a sales pitch should be able to talk him round. To be blunt he is 6 - you should hopefully be able to gently manipulate him into thinking staying where he is is best (no room at the new school at the moment/your current schools loves you and wants you to stay/your current school has the most amazing <insert his favourite subject> toys and tools we cannot possibly move you, the after school clubs at current school are soooo fantastic etc etc)
Just make sure you do not slag off the new school too much in case you end up wanting to move there at a later date.
Good luck in which ever you decide to do.
Definitely everything that ClimbingRoses has said.
Dig deeper in to the reality of him having / not having friends.
Talk to staff at the school.
However, I'm a bit confused about you saying that you have a 4 yr old about to start is a reason for not starting at your local school ? Have I got that right ? I'd have thought that would be a reason to start at your local school?
Although - again, as Climbing Roses said, you need to go to the school, get a 'feel' for it, and see how it works in reality. Keep in mind thugh there are a LOT of advantages to a local school over the next 7 years - you'll have to see if perceived disadvantages outweigh them.
Do go and talk to the school.
"I have no friends" can mean that-however ime it means more often than no either
1. I couldn't find anyone to play with me today (or even for the first 2 minutes of playtime)
2. I'm just feeling miserable because it was a bad day and that's a way I can express it with.
Moving schools may or may not have the answer.
You'll hear about the child who moved schools and all was brilliant. However you don't hear so much the parent who says they moved schools and it was the same/worse.
Making friends can depend on so much, not least the personalities of the children involved.
Some children make friends easily. If you have one who does, it can be hard to understand that some children don't. Some children seem to almost actively go out of their way to try not to (I have one of those-it's not that she doesn't want to make friends; it's that she finds it hard to believe that someone does want to be friends so when they invite her to things she tends to freeze and refuse)
If your dc lands in a class with someone who makes friends easily and is very much inclined to want to know the newcomer, then they may well do well.
Or the school where the child who hadn't found their friends yet clicks very well with your child.
Or when the children all get on and are happy to welcome another child in.
But equally well you can find all the children have paired up and don't want to welcome another child, or that they're in a close clique that do everything together (and so are the parents) or there just isn't anyone they can click with.
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